ENS Roadmap as of March 2020 - seeking feedback

Hey everyone!

Here’s an update on our current road map plan, both to let people know what’s coming up and to get feedback. ENS has always been an open source and community-driven project. We really appreciate all the help, suggestions, and contributions we get from all of you!

A big thanks for everyone’s understanding and support with our ENS registry bug fix. The whole episode produced a lot of stress for us and put us back about 4 months (!), but I’m glad it’s behind us. Now we’re looking to the future.

What we’re working on right now: The project board we use for our bi-weekly development sprints is public on Github. If you’re ever interested in what we’re actively working on, feel free to check it out.

Here’s our plan for the next few months. Some of these things are being done in parallel, but this should give you an idea of our plan roughly in the order we plan on doing it.

DONE 1) Catch up
The last few weeks we’ve spent trying to catch up on tasks that had built up while we were focused on the bug fix. This includes some new Manager features we had been working on before we dropped everything for the bug fix, some Manager UI bug fixes, as well merging some PRs that other people had submitted to us.

An example of the latter is a feature to be able to upload files/folders to IPFS and save the hash to your Content record, all from within our Manager! You can track the PR here. A lot of the work for that has been done by the folks at Temporal.Cloud, whose service the feature uses. We are getting close to finishing the details so we can merge it, so stay tuned.

DONE 2) Prep for renewals
In the next few months, .ETH names will start to actually expire and be released for the first time. We’re working on various tools to make it easier for people to track when their names expire, to bulk renew names, and to more easily track when other people’s names are expiring (so you can register them once they expire if you want to).

We’re also considering a proposal to change the way pricing works around expiring names, feedback welcome.

IN PROGRESS 3) DNS namespace integration
I can’t wait for this! This has been a key part of our strategy for a long time, and I’m looking forward to us finally being able to get this done.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, we’re integrating the DNS namespace for use on ENS. We’ve already integrated .XYZ, .LUXE, .KRED, .ART, and .CLUB, and soon we’ll be rolling out to most of the rest of the DNS namespace. What this means is you’ll be able to send DOGE to example.com using ENS, among other things.

DONE 4) Homepage revamp
We’re already working on this in parallel with our other work. If you haven’t noticed, ens.domains is out of date, or at least it is no longer giving a full picture of all the features ENS now has. So we’re going to fix that (and try to keep it up-to-date from now on).

5) Other Manager improvements
There are tons of ways to improve the Manager. Just a few examples:

  • DONE Create framework so people can translate the Manager and easily switch between languages
  • Create framework so people can easily add support in the Manager for more cryptocurrency addresses (Manager currently supports 15, though ENS on the protocol level can support any)
  • IN PROGRESS Ability for users to set multiple ENS records in one txn
  • More web3 sign-in options, e.g WalletConnect
  • Mechanism to allow for updating our pre-image so that users see fewer names as hashes in the Manager
  • More data types/projects supported in our Content record
  • ON HOLD Ability to pay in Dai and other Ethereum-based tokens (something converts the payment to ETH for the user, e.g. Uniswap)
  • And more

6) Governance improvements
We’re very thankful for the service provided by the ENS keyholders (see the bottom of ens.domains for more info). We’re actively thinking about how we can improve our governance, including term lengths for keyholders, clearer expectations, et al.

7) For developers

  • Tooling
  • Documentation
  • Library update

We want your feedback
So what do people think? What do you think we should be prioritizing? Is there something not listed here that you see as a top priority (or just that you’d love to see)? Thanks for your support!

1 Like

really like this point.
One more for #5 could be support for ENS permission management. (e.g. interface for setAuthorisation(bytes32 node, address target, bool isAuthorised))

2 Likes

Hi Brantly,

Thank you for sharing this detailed roadmap! I think the whole ENS team is doing a great job and I am excited to see all the planned features come to life.

Regarding the feedback, I’d like to share my thoughts here:

Technical features:
All the planned technical features look very good to me. It seems like you have a good understanding of what is needed to mature the system. What I mentioned earlier is that the privacy aspect is crucial for me - when I give my ENS address to a colleague or friend he/she can immediately see all my account and transactions. I know that this is inherent to ethereum itself at the moment and unfortunately don’t have an idea how to solve this besides the general work that is being done on zk-snarks.

Non-technical features and awareness:
While reading the roadmap I noticed that it has, of course, a strong focus on the technical details. Although this is necessary, it feels like we have to do more for the awareness of the project (your posts on Medium and and your public talks are a good start for that!). Without doubt, this awareness comes with the adoption from large platforms: In the past, I contacted Coinbase (https://www.coinbase.com/), Ledger (https://www.ledger.com/) and Bison (https://bisonapp.com/en/ , it’s the crypto app of the German/Stuttgart stock exchange) and asked when they are going to support ENS. The answers were quite similar: They said “We are aware of ENS (but currently not implementing it)”. I am not sure what is stopping them from doing so but I assume they want to be very sure that the system works as expected and that no customer loses money due to a third-party naming system? In this case, further improving the technical features is certainly the way to go for ENS.

In general, the approach that ENS should become ‘the’ naming service is the right one. Sometimes I speak with other people (often highly educated ones) and they would like to get started in the crypto-space. To them, the entire concept of these lengthy crypto addresses is very new and it would be nice if they could use an ENS right from the start. We should thus continue with the paradigm that ENS should be as simple to use as possible. Maybe you can introduce something like a “Getting started with ENS in 3 (or 5? :wink: ) steps” on your new homepage? Not sure if you have something like this on the old homepage besides the general documentation.

With respect to the DNS namespace integration, I think that is an awesome feature and I can see the potential but at the moment I don’t really know how to communicate the benefits to DNS address holders that don’t have a crypto background.

These are just some preliminary thoughts, looking forward to a deeper discussion!

1 Like

@thedude Thanks for your comments!

Re privacy: Yes we agree it’s very important. There are a few places where better privacy features could be added (e.g. when registering a name, with resolving, et al). We don’t have a concrete plan of what to do yet, though, which is why it’s not on this roadmap, but it’s definitely something we’re thinking about.

Re adoption, yes getting major platforms to integrate is huge. That’s been a major focus in the last year, and we’ve greatly expanded the number of wallets and dapps that have ENS, though there’s still lots of work to be done there. Coinbase Wallet recently added it, so that was a big coup and might lead to more products in Coinbase integrating it, but we’ll see.

Kudos to you and the whole ENS team for continuing to move this project forward. You have my thanks and, I’m sure, the silent thanks from many, many others in this community.

I made this suggestion in your latest Medium update so I thought I’d offer it here, too:

Bulk renewals are awesome! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

If you added Bulk Releases, you would have everything: Two clicks and you can migrate all the names you want to keep, then release the remainder. There may be technical stumbling blocks that I’m unaware of. If not, this feature would really round out the new ENS manager.

Thanks again for all the great work and the constant updates. They are much appreciated!